Kelly Perry - 00:00 - You are listening to the Team Flower podcast where we talk about flowers in the people who've given their lives to sharing them with the world. Today we have Anna and Eli of The Flower Appreciation Society are going to be talking about their new book, an a to z on all these floral. This England based pair met at a pub where they were united by visual thinking and a shared love of flowers. It started creating arrangements nearly 10 years ago and now they're still together, making couples happy and working with brilliant brands alongside their small driving team at their studio in Hackney, east London, in this conversation and an Ellie share their process and developing a vision and voice for their book and the artistic process. We're driving into the importance of systemizing pricing and how to communicate to clients using an expanded floral vocabulary. We're also going into The Flower Appreciation Society's heading gardens, so be sure to visit the blog to see some of the photos that we are talking about and that we've referenced during this conversation and find a link to purchase the book. We are so excited to have you in an unwelcome,
Kelly Perry - 01:06 - so your book is all about all things floral, how to sections, information about specific flowers and even short flourish stories, which is fun. Tell us a little bit about where you draw your inspiration from. How did you decide what went in and what led you to writing the book?
Ellie Jauncey - 01:25 - Hi. Yeah, thanks for having us. Um, we, uh, the, the reason the book came about is because we had a really nice article in the Telegraph magazine, um, where uh, it actually affected some of Anna's illustrations and then, you know, it was an interview about how we began and after that interview came out we were approached by a publisher and an agent actually on the same day. It was very bizarre and I'm both, if he had considered doing a book and I think it had been a pipe dream, you know, we always said, gosh, it'd be so loved Mr Burke. And obviously cause Anna's background is illustration. It's sort of, there's always been this element of using her. We draw on her skills, heard drawing an illustration skills for all of our branding. And everything, so it was always something that we thought of but didn't actually think it would ever happen.
Ellie Jauncey - 02:20 - And so when we were asked, um, we, yeah, pretty much jumped at the chance and chose to go with the agent rather than the publisher. And then she then pitched our idea to lots of different publishers and I think we wanted to, I think we had so many ideas that we wanted to put into a book. And so the, a to zed I'm structure really gave us scope to include quite random things and to be quite playful and not take ourselves too seriously. I think maybe, um, we definitely don't say that it's an insight. It's, it's not us pretending that we know everything there is about flower arranging or you know, it's, it was, uh, it was kind of supposed to be a, a taste of all these different elements, wasn't it?
Anna Day - 03:09 - Operation of flowers I suppose. And kind of, yeah, the joyful, playful element with something we was really important to us I think. And something different for maybe, um, there's some really great already great books out there that are very focused on how to, um, and that was actually, it was quite an interesting process, having never published a book before. We had a lot. We have, we found a great publisher. Um, he gave us a lot of freedom with our content. Um, there was a few, we definitely have to include some how tos and there's a few other things like flu occasion occasions we have to touch on, but they gave us such an amazing amount of freedom when we were designing or the content
Ellie Jauncey - 03:55 - and they even let us things like, they were like, you need to do Valentine's Day and we just so didn't want to put the for Valentine's Day. So we put it under, I love you. And like things like that, they let us, we got away with that and we're not. In hindsight, we can't quite believe how much freedom we were given. Yeah.
Anna Day - 04:12 - Which was amazing. And I think, um. Oh, what was I gonna say about that? I think I was going to say that it allowed us to not be too traditional. Maybe not. Maybe we will. We, we thought it was a bit more of a, there wasn't a book like this out there. Whereas the, there are lots of great straight how to flow cheap books. Um, so yeah, I think we wanted and we had the opportunity to do something a bit different, which was also very, quite different, difficult when it came to pitching it because when we put a proposal together because often, which is something we also didn't realize when publishes a get a proposals true. They'll, they'll compare it to other books that are already out there and say it will be a bit like this when they're trying to sell the idea to their team. And they couldn't really do that with this book because there wasn't anything really like it to compare to. Which I think was quite hard for our editor here to try and sell the idea to the rest of her team. But then when, when it, when they agreed it was great because we could do something hopefully a bit different. And um, yeah, it was really fun bringing it together and you'll see that the, the alphabets quite, it's quite random where we place things which hopefully the index helps for all science and like daily and it's into the world of how these things come together. It was, it was a really great start and we really enjoyed putting it together.
Kelly Perry - 05:49 - Yeah. It's so fun. Like for example, for those of you who are listening like under s, it's like stocks and swans and sentence sweet and scabby geosys. So it's this really fun blend. I'm like, you were saying of all the different kinds of areas of floral design, um, but arranged by the alphabet. So to me that's pretty easy to find in keeps things, you know, you know, the, the variety is nice. I'm somebody who really appreciates variety and kind of moving from place to place. And Swans in particular I think are collection of phase one. I say. Oh No, no. I have a friend who um, is a florist down in Birmingham and she had a client who brought her the swan containers to make some baby shower arrangements in. And Boy, did she ever rock those out, those white ceramic swans. But we only have real swans in the pond down in, down by where Janine lists. But I think they're so fun. And um, whenever we were at the conference in the spring, um, there's a magazine here that's about 120 year old, 20 years old, which for America is very old and they had shown kind of like flower arrangements through the decades.
Kelly Perry - 07:07 - And so I think it was like maybe in the sixth, 50, 60, somewhere in that era they were showing a floral arrangement that had been arranged in the swans and they had actually it connected with another speaker, James Farmer who was, he was really a trendsetter. I'm more in the garden world. And so he, someone told a story about how he had gotten all of these swan pots and he started a trend in his garden in his neighborhood as like a six year old or, you know, just a very young boy. I can't remember exactly how young, but he went with his mom to the store and they got these spots. And so then pretty soon the whole neighborhood hat though.
Kelly Perry - 07:51 - So anyway, just fun to, it's fun to incorporate other elements of nature just besides flowers into our work with flowers in photos and you know, just all kinds of things there are so, so very connected and interdependent on each other and as it's very. It's very lovely. Well, I know you said Anna did a lot of the illustration for your book. I think your personalities come out and it's so bright and cheerful and a colorful, all those kinds of things. What was that light, kind of that partnership? How did you sort of divvy out your jobs? You know, maybe there's somebody listening who's like, I'd really love to take on a project, but the idea of doing something big like that by myself as like, oh, like how did you guys identify? Like what, who had what strength in. I'm sure it was probably very natural because you know each other quite well. But how did you work through that partnership?
Ellie Jauncey - 08:45 - Um, I think it was pretty obvious the divide just because Anna is the Dura, so any, any of the drawing side of it was domestic Anna's role. Um, and then we actually did all the photography. We did everything in the book and I think, I don't know, maybe if we did it again, we wouldn't take on quite as much. I think we, we were kind of what, we'd never made a book before and we didn't realize that actually you don't have to do everything. And I think we wanted complete creative control, didn't we? And so we, but now maybe we would, I don't know, maybe we'd do it with a photographer. We probably would now, but it was because because Anna's role was so clearly defined, I guess it kind of left the other stuff slightly more to me. Um, and as much as string a sentence together than I am. But the copy, the copy was the hardest bit was like no one. We never realized that when you write, when you make a visual book, there has to be words on every page and those words have to sound good.
Ellie Jauncey - 09:48 - And you how we remember the first time our editor said to us in a very casual way, you need to go and find your voice and we both just sort of sat and thought that we were going to cry because it just seemed like such a huge thing to have to and obviously you develop your own voice develops as you work and we'd been going for six years by the time we made the book. So we'd been around a while and we definitely had a tone but neither of us realized quite how important that was and how much it has to, you know, there's 200 and however many pages in the book and literally every single page has some words on it. And that was definitely the most challenging part for us for sure.
Anna Day - 10:26 - Well realizing that we actually, I think we thought right, it's really kind of maybe take a bit more because we are not writers that would, we would, wouldn't be so left to our own devices with it. Which again, in a way like she did it very well that she kind of guided us. But did, we, did find a voice and um, but it was quite a hard part. That was the real challenge and also I suppose that wasn't an, it was almost easier. There's quite a few times and we'd sit together and try and come up with this paragraphs
Ellie Jauncey - 11:01 - and that spent hours going round and round in circles.
Anna Day - 11:05 - He went off, and did it and then we could just edit it together rather than both trying to. We do it still now that we're, we're trying to copy for our website and things. It can be quite,
Ellie Jauncey - 11:18 - we have got better. But equally I think that you are much more descriptive with your words. I'm a bit more like short and sweet and Anna is much more, uh, what's the word? Like casual maybe? No, I think you're much more um, you describe things more interestingly. I don't know. Anyway, so I think it was a good combination. I think when we came together at once, once we've kind of got it a bit sorted, it was actually quite fun thinking of lots of different. Because also a lot of the time you're kind of describing the same thing. And having to think of different ways of other words rather than float flowers and blue. It's so hard
Anna Day - 12:03 - amount of word still. There's only so many, you know, upset flowers three times on this page.
Kelly Perry - 12:16 - Well, you know, writing is one of those things that goes into it. Just even more than a book. I mean, I think about as you guys were talking about, you know, repeating, you know, Bloom's over and over again. I'm just thinking about how whenever we put proposals together for clients or just we talk about flowers with people during consultations and meetings for weddings and things like that. There is so much potential to pull out the dictionary and to do a little bit of word searching and to think about how we can describe colors and shapes and textures and flowers differently. Um, so much of what we do is so,
Anna Day - 12:55 - well it seems weird to even call it that way. The whole atmosphere you're creating around the service you're providing, which especially when your. We use images a lot when we're doing our proposals and chain people, but they're not. Everything we do is bespoke. We're not, we want everyone to feel like what they're, the surface they're getting from us is not what we've given other people and I think that can really help with the language he used and, and, and it also relieved when you chat to people and they pulling out things they say and including that in your proposal I think makes it then the customer see that you're listening to what they're saying.
Kelly Perry - 13:43 - Yes, yes.
Anna Day - 13:46 - Yeah. Like there's a certain phrase they use. It's quite, we find it quite useful to write that down and then include that in what we send back to them.
Kelly Perry - 13:57 - Absolutely. Because you know, we can show, you know, you can show an image to sort of describe a tone or a mood like you guys had talked about like what's your voice, like, what's the tone of the book? Um, and it has a very clear, very clear tone. And whenever we work with clients, like each one of them, you know, we have this sort of, you know, big overarching perhaps like brand tone, but with each event there is like a slightly different note on that. And we can really do a lot with our words to be able to connect and like you were saying, to show that we hear them and that we're listening to repeat some of their words to mix some deeper, maybe take meeting them where they are and taking it even deeper. Um, I think an ad, a lot of value to clients since we sell something that is technically invisible to them and until we show up at their event and they seek it. Um, so yeah, I think that's really powerful. I love
Kelly Perry - 14:52 - just how that writing is a skill that, that we all need. Whether we've written a book or whether we're just writing a proposal or like you said, copy for the website it, there is a tone, there is a voice, there is, you know, we need that blends like what you guys were talking about. And Janine and I were just talking about this yesterday because we were writing, doing some writing. The, the need to have that really kind of to the point direct copy piece. And then how does that blend with something that is more lyrical or more imaginative? You know, we need both of those things as
Ellie Jauncey - 15:25 - why copywriting is a job, you know, why they have such a different thing, isn't it the thing that I think when you first thought you don't, you don't necessarily realize that at the beginning and like it's something that really developed I think because you realized the value of things like that.
Kelly Perry - 15:43 - Um, this wasn't one of my official questions but I'm wondering was there a time when there was a little bit of writer's block and what did you guys do? Like was it like let's go walk in the garden time? Like how do you unstick yourself, you know, if you're like just can't move forward. How can we move forward?
Ellie Jauncey - 16:00 - I mean I would say in our 10th year, next year and I would say one of mine and another great skills is to get stuck talking about things when we do get stuck. Definitely. And I think just having either a change, I mean quite often you know, we like to think that we're, this is slightly, you don't practice what you preach and we probably quite often just sit there and keep getting stuck. But actually it's really good to do something different. That's when you, that's when we need to go to the garden or we need to do some arranging or sort of tap the studio or anything just to change the scene of what you're doing and then come back to it later.
Anna Day - 16:36 - Being aware of the date when we write the book, which was, um, we did it over 10 months, maybe a lot of the photography we did was throughout this summit when, uh, when, when we were getting the best flour in it. So we would do the shoots and a lot of the shoots we tried to combine with when we were buying, we didn't want to wait like dose. We did do some days I would just shoot for the book. But we also like what if we were making something beautiful for a wedding next shoots at the book as well. We're not. So we did a lot of it has to combine the book with our work that we had on. We were writing most evenings at somewhere where we will also go to the market and buying a classic. I think something that we're really aware of more and more so that I'm going to go on for probably the older we get, we got up really early in the morning and to go to the market, it's probably not the best day to then do lots of writing.
Ellie Jauncey - 17:35 - Yeah, yeah. No, I would never do that. Now.
Anna Day - 17:42 - Jobs that fit with a bit of lack of sleep, um, you know, better like sorting the studio, going to the garden and maintaining and doing more practical jobs rather than thinking we're not so good at thinking when we've, we've been up really early and um, yeah, I think that's definitely something that we have more of an awareness. I think we will. Yeah. Getting older as well. We've probably got less resilience too, but I think, right. Also, I think what really helps, I find, especially with illustration and the fit with, I think with the book is deadlines you. When do you, when you've got a deadline and you have to get it done. Whereas when it's right, when you, when it's not, you've got the time. You've kind of. Molly, I definitely, I think actually you're much more efficient with that, but I, I, I need that pressure of a deadline to get things done and that was quite helpful with the book. I think we had so much. We had to be really organized with it and I had to do a certain number of illustrations on certain days and those are the days that Annie took over the market trips and the flowering of our day to day running of the business. So yeah, I think we didn't have too much scope for too much, way too much
Ellie Jauncey - 18:59 - because we have to get on with it.
Kelly Perry - 19:01 - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Deadlines, deadlines are a really powerful thing to have, even just in our businesses and other ways too. Like when I'm, when I'm talking with somebody and they're like, oh, it's just, it's really hard to um, you know, turn a profit with flowers or just takes too much time. All these kinds of things. I'm always talking about how can we do whatever that thing is faster. So if it's making a center piece or if it's a bouquet and um, you know, whatever it is, it at the end of the day, what we are creating it is both, a lot of times with many people's business models, but it is a product, it's like a thing that people buy and we could take a lot of time on every single piece and never get out of the stereo.
Kelly Perry - 19:49 - So setting deadlines, even like for specific pieces and you know, there's so many different ways that we can sort of apply that concept of like the helpfulness of having a deadline, even if it is one that, that we're creating for ourselves. And maybe it's not a publisher or an event per se, but you can sort of get lost in it and unless you really want to get lost in it, that sort of just the default. Right? So when I'm going into things I'm like, this is something I do kind of want to let my creativity unwind with or is this just something that I need? Yeah.
Anna Day - 20:19 - Well, um, if you, if you charged quite a lot of money for an arrangement, then you have the luxury of spending longer thinking about that design.
Kelly Perry - 20:33 - Yes.
Anna Day - 20:34 - Yeah, and that's quite a new idea for us. I think you can the more kind of installing jobs which maybe aren't using more flowers, but the headspace you need to design them and then on the and think about it and look back and that they should be much more expensive because it's that even though the material isn't, is the headspace.
Kelly Perry - 21:03 - Absolutely. That's why I've got a little line item on my invoicing structure that I just call it an artist's fee and whenever somebody asks me, you know, and it doesn't even happen very often, but when someone does ask her, you know, what is that? That's the cost of my brain. That's me. That's me on project for you. Thinking about how we're going to get all of these moving pieces together and those kinds of things. So it's certainly an element and I was just talking to my friend Elizabeth last night and I always, she was having questions about how much should I charge for freelancing or some of these different things and um, I was just like, if you can explain it then you can charge for it, but you just have to be able to explain it and then that helps you understand like what's appropriate to put there and
Anna Day - 21:54 - so what the job's going to entail, but you're getting your proposal ready to keep that quite vague then that kind of artist or install fee.
Kelly Perry - 22:05 - Well My, I think the thing about the business model that I've chosen to do for the last couple of seasons and probably what I'll continue to do until some shift happens in the market here. Um, I have a pretty, I generally am working with a client that has a budget of about $5,000. And so I've really systematized. I'm the offering and the whole process to kind of really land right in that spot for me. So with the process that I'm using, it's pretty predictable. Like I, I know about what that kind of scale is going to entail now whenever you bump up to $20,000, which I live in a small town, there's not, you know, it's not a city, anything like that that doesn't happen has happened one time that I've had a client who's had that type of flexibility, but there is a different scale ability to that and I found that it is a little bit more difficult to put that to assign what that number should be.
Kelly Perry - 23:03 - You can scale it up accordingly. So Times four of whatever the $5,000 fee would be, um, if you're at 20, but there's still a whole nother system to be worked out to really get that price point to be like really truly, I feel like fluid and profitable and you know, kind of systematized I guess you could say. So a lot of florists work, you know, kind of on all the different price range levels in it. I find that it's hard to, unless you have like a slightly different system of operating and you kind of know what's included it at $2,000 versus five versus 10, you know, you, you need different systems for these different price points because the product is different, you know, whenever you add an installation that you've never done before in a venue you've never worked out before, that's kind of a different ballgame than it is whenever, um, it's a place you're comfortable with and kind of a scale that you're familiar with and you know, so you don't make as much money on those new and exciting jobs at the first time that you do them.
Kelly Perry - 24:04 - It takes a little while to get all of the nuts and bolts worked out and to be able to get everything priced appropriately. I feel like it does take a little bit of a little bit of a learning, so yeah, absolutely. Well, sorry, I got you off topic. I'm just rambling on about one of my favorite things. I love talking about pricing. I mean, you know, it does. It's what, it's what allows us to keep moving forward and to keep serving people right. And um, it's just a very, um, it's a very important part of the process and putting a price tag on creativity can, can be a difficult thing to think about because there is an element of yourself that you offer up to the world that, that really is a gift. Like you can't put a price tag on some things and so figuring out what you can logically put a price tag on and in what you sort of offer is your, is your gift to the world. It's, it's an interesting philosophical conversation about business and flowers and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, and it says, I think it's
Ellie Jauncey - 25:11 - the, I mean not to say that freelancers don't give 150 percent, but when it's your own business and you, you always, yeah, there's that constant kind of trying to find a balance of going that extra mile and making money. Isn't that where do you draw the line every time you do a job because then you would not be making any money. So you have to, right? Yeah, yes. It's all a bit a bit.
Kelly Perry - 25:37 - Yeah. And just aware, you know, I think so often we kind of just go through it and, and naturally I think, you know, we want to give 200 percent on every single job every single time and I'm, there is just this process where you become so empty and so, you know, when the client, if they don't sometimes always recognize the same things that you do. And so it becomes like, okay, well who is it, who's it really for at this point? You know? Um, and so it's just kind of, it's actually, I think a lot of times and internal internal battle with, you know, the designer business owner and in themselves. And um, is it more important for me to sustain this or to express myself? And how do I, you know, I've started, um, uh, I, I just call it, I don't know what to call it, calling cultivating creativity where I'll spend some time in the studio.
Kelly Perry - 26:28 - Just really, I'm only moving slow, you know, it's like I'll give myself the whole day, like let's just walk the garden. Let's see what's out here. Let's think about some interesting shapes or textures. Like let's notice things. I'll put myself in sort of weird situations. Like the other day I was outside and you know, six inches of snow, like in the garden, pulling dried things and sticks and trying to make something and seeing how the snow plays with it. And what does that contrast look like? And um, you know, just taking the time in and you notice things about the plants that you wouldn't notice whenever you're working a job, um, you're able to see like, oh, the snow is sticking to this one but not that one. What does that tell me about the texture? Oh, I never noticed that. The texture of burning bushes, like so, you know, rigid and Burkey on, on the stems that just never occurred to me before.
Kelly Perry - 27:11 - And so it's this process of like getting to know the plants better so that when it is game day and you know it's on and you've got the deadline and you've got the client that you're working for and you have all those logistical things that you're up against as well, you can sort of draw from that time that you've like poured back into your, into yourself, into that just quiet, restorative time. And you can apply some of those things. Um, whenever, whenever things get stressful, like it's, it's hard to think creativity create. We are always thinking creative. You're always thinking creatively no matter what. But just those little real, really subtle things that you wouldn't notice if you were in a place where you needed to move fast. You can notice in places that are slower. And um, I just find that separation for me to be incredibly helpful. And you guys, you guys teach classes I think as well. And, and I do here in Boone to um, I think, don't you guys just love seeing what people create and sort of processing, like, like learning about them through looking at their arrangements. And processing what they were putting together. Talk about that a little bit.
Anna Day - 28:21 - How interesting it would be to have some kind of psychologist looking at the arrangement.
Kelly Perry - 28:25 - Yes, yes.
Anna Day - 28:27 - His personality and how they and every, every time everyone or sometimes I'll work shots. We give everyone a bucket. Pretty much the same sorts of flowers to use. And other times they're much more. They have a lot of buckets but they're kind of front and people come and choose depending on what kind of workshop it is. But it's always so fascinating that everyone, especially when everyone's getting the same sorts of flowers in their buckets and they're always different and they will, you know, we have them all in exactly the same way and yet they're completely wonderfully different. And I think yeah, we enjoy that very much the same. Even with something like a head dress, which you know is not a big huge big arrangement or something. But even that some people go completely mad when others go thin and wispy.
Ellie Jauncey - 29:16 - It's such an, it's such a, you know, we always let a lot of the people. We sort of have two strands to our workshop, so we do our evening classes that are, say the Christmas wreath or Vars and rearranging and a vase or a hand tie. They tend to be people who haven't necessarily done much our arranging or you know, just want to come and do something creative. And often those people that come might work in not very creative industries and it's such a, it's a, well, we always say it's fluff, it's like therapy anyway. This like this wonderful thing for people to express themselves through and ultimately flowers really make people happy. You know, we know that in the industry anyway and you know, a bride the flat. If a bride loves flowers, then you know, you've made her day through the flowers on her wedding day. But I think there's something about when people come to a class and they get to, people don't often get to hang out with flowers, you know, like it's, it's quite a sort of even. It seems so obvious. It really allows people to relax and I didn't know. Yeah, show a bit of who they are. That sounds really corny, but I think it's kind of true, like they were so nice to be part of that process. I think Anna and I both love teaching so much because the majority of people go away feeling really great. You know? It's like a real and they've got nothing sours,
Anna Day - 30:41 - but they've also. Yeah, I think that that is so easy when we're surrounded by flowers so often. Like I still think back to the. When I first started getting into floristry and going into flower shops and the smell of them and the atmosphere and you can't create that home and you can't create. You can't unless you go into the market for us here really you. Your options are you go to florists and spend. If it's for the kind of member of the public who loves flowers, you either have to spend a fortune on individual stems at a mall, at a florist or the supermarket version, which obviously there's. There's not very much variety or you could go to our big markets, new covent garden in London, but then you have to spend 50 to 100 pounds on, on flowers to create any kind of atmosphere.
Anna Day - 31:35 - So I think that's been. Workshops are great because it gives people all those smells and feelings, feelings that is actually really hard to get at home or unless you walk into a flower shop but then you can't play with flowers. So I, yeah, it's create, it's more than just teaching the flat, the, the skills I think it is. We feel like we're hosting and we were creating a whole atmosphere. But yeah, that element of doing such different things. And I'm with the same materials, which I think you get. I've just been doing a completely off tangent, but I've been doing a pottery course and just to see it in the same way what people do with a lump of clay and how different it is. It's, it's, it's great that we're all so different.
Kelly Perry - 32:27 - Uh, that's so fun. Well, in the, I think, you know, I'd love that you're doing that. I, I started trying to put some paint on a canvas and seeing how that felt, oh my goodness, layering and all those kinds of different things, but those times of just holding the lump of clay in your hand or you know, mixing paints together like those are, those are the things that do fuel the creativity so we can give in those moments and I think they're just such important treasured time. So I'm really glad that. I'm glad that that's a part of your life right now. That's really exciting. Are you making some faces?
Anna Day - 33:06 - Well that, that is the dream is realized that he is very difficult today than it. Good.
Kelly Perry - 33:16 - Yeah.
Anna Day - 33:17 - I was going to say that I think we've, we realizing you this was something we really love doing and actually doing other people's work shops based flowery and then in other disciplines like this guy is so interesting to seeing an adult learning and, or you know, children as well. But I think anyone out there who's, who's interested in, in teaching it, we wrote a, it's so good to keep your own learning going at all times. Um, I think just to be inspired by both other people in your own industry, but then in other, in other kinds of disciplines, it's, it's something that we, we realize it's quite, it's quite nice spending some of our business money as well, a lot of research and not being guilty.
Kelly Perry - 34:10 - Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well you guys were talking about, you know, creating that atmosphere in that that's something special that we get to do as flourish for people. The cutting. Tell us a little bit about that cutting garden that you have, you know, I can kind of gather a little bit about what's going on on your blog, but it just looks like such a lovely place and I love how you're, you know, on your blog you have these different spotlights for like this is what's happening in the garden now. So don't judge fast. That's okay. There's archives.
Ellie Jauncey - 34:46 - But yeah, so we were really lucky we where our studio is, our landlord who also has the building next door to ours. He has, he's really sort of supported us from the moment that we started really. And um, he owns a lot of the area where our studio is and he has lots of tenants who us all have gardens and it's supposed to look after them but they don't. And so we asked him if we could take over one of his disused gardens and turn it into a cutting garden, so it's 10 minutes walk from our studio and you have to walk in the front door of what looks like a house, but it's actually walk into a corridor and then there's flats off it and then you go out through the back and into a back garden. And when we took it on, it was completely overgrown and just basically a rubbish dump essentially.
Ellie Jauncey - 35:35 - So we cleared it all great characteristics and protected. I'm obviously in London. It's, we've got a good climate, well apart from at the moment, but. Well it's warm and yeah. So we built an wet um, where originally we only actually had half of it, which was quite weird because we sort of did half and then someone else has had the other half and then that didn't happen. So then we two years ago, so we, we took on three years ago, two years ago, we got that the other half, so now we have the whole thing and um, we have eight raised beds, so it's small, um, and we are learning as we go, neither nor I have any horticultural background and um, we, I mean gardening is very much in my family, but I wouldn't say that I've ever until five years ago taken much interest in it.
Ellie Jauncey - 36:27 - Um, and I think when we started really getting into using British flowers and thinking about where our produce comes from, I think when we had this opportunity to grow ourselves, we kind of, while we were just so excited by it, um, and it's really good at small because we've got so much to do and it's the perfect start there. Yeah. Because as you know, a garden and growing flowers is so much work. And um, we definitely underestimated that when we took it on, like we didn't know what we were doing at all. You know, we were just like, oh great, we're going to plant a few things and see how it goes. And we've learned loads and we, yeah, we love it. But if I was giving anyone advice, who was it? I think most people that want to start a cutting garden are aware, but, you know, it's a lot.
Ellie Jauncey - 37:16 - It needs a lot of energy and a lot of love and a lot of time and um, yeah, you need to make sure you've got that time for it. Um, but yeah, so we grow a whole. We go mostly annuals, but we have got some, we've got some perennials in there. We don't really have room for shrubs or failure or anything, but um, we do have some climates. You've got jasmine and honeysuckle heavily this year. We've grown, we've planted six roses, which we're very excited about it. So that's our first year of roses. Um, um, we have, yeah, I mean we do all sorts of things like we've, what do we do? What's the. So in front of me right now, all in ceilings, we've got lots of sweet peas that are coming up. We're doing, um. Oh yeah. One of your questions was about, and that is, I wouldn't say it's our, but we love it. I mean it's beautiful. Did you not have it in America?
Kelly Perry - 38:09 - Maybe it comes under a different name. It sort of looks a little bit like a biscuit or a rose of Sharon. Um, but no, I have not seen. I have not seen seeds for that. And I saw that you said it was the perfect last minute annual and it is, it's big grumpy and I was just like, Oh wow, that's all coming up all coming up. All of a sudden, just in one year. So that was interesting. The
Ellie Jauncey - 38:35 - is really big. It's got an amazing big bloom is kind of like these big Bell Bell I guess not quite bell shaped and um, I mean last year we actually, the first year we grew we grew this lovely Pale pink one white and Pale Pink, very blush. And then, um, last year I bought the wrong seeds and we had the Pale pink one didn't do very well and we had loads of this not very nice purple color, which was really annoying. Um, and then this year, so this year we're going to do it successfully and we want to have it as, you know, going on throughout the summer. So we're doing a few different colors this year. Um, but yeah, it lasts well. It's, it's a really like big bloom to, to get as an annual. It's like, it's big. It feels like it makes quite a lot of impact. Yeah, it's lovely. Yeah.
Kelly Perry - 39:22 - Oh good. Good, good. Well, it's a little bit like how growing flowers has helped you maybe get to know the flowers a little bit better. How has it affected your design work to be able to, um, just to understand a little bit more about that process from, from seed to bloom. And it makes you appreciate it
Ellie Jauncey - 39:40 - them in such a different way, doesn't it? It's just such a. I didn't know the whole process of just being able to make something like that happen is really enriching anyway and I think like, you know, getting your hands in the soil and that's a whole nother side of making, making you fit yourself feel good as well I think, which is really important. We're not, I mean, not everyone needs to do it, but like once you start doing it, I think you really value that grounded feeling of like being again, sounds very cliche, but being a part of. Yeah, like touching the soil like assets and it's great. And um, I think the,
Anna Day - 40:22 - I think I was really amazed at how much difference even three. Um, so for example, in our tulips come, which we're going to be quite late, the shakes with a cold winter, but just putting three into one of our arrangements even when the rest of the flowers of, from the market, um, makes so much difference to the feel of it. And you don't need, you know, we were definitely very much supplementing what we, what we buy it. We would love to be self sufficient, but we haven't got the space at the time, but it's something we're exploring, but I think just how much difference a few bits that you've either grown yourself or forage makes to an arrangement.
Kelly Perry - 41:10 - One hundred percent. It's absolutely. Some of it's parts kind
Anna Day - 41:14 - of transforms that even with a very, you know, we did quite a lot of this autumn just going out and picking a few beautiful. It's all shaped, um, branches with beautiful colored leaves on them. They transformed a job like. Yeah, and it wasn't like we were kind of hacking down a whole tree. It was a very small amount. It with, it was a noticeable and what were, where we were picking from, but it made so much difference. I think that was quite a big discovery.
Ellie Jauncey - 41:48 - Yeah. And I think we've already, even from when we decided when, when we started consciously trying to buy British and thinking about things being local and stuff, you very quickly realize the different quality that a flower that has been grown within the same country that you're in or as local as possible has to. Something that is being grown really far away and already been was ca, you know, way you know, the difference between cutting something the day before or having something that's been around for a week or four days or however long it's been around for and having been flown and you know, there's, there is, we all know there's a time and a place for cultivated flowers and unimportant and we all use them and we need them. But there's also a very, very different quality and the smell, the bounce the life, like they feel living in a way that I think you can't compare it.
Kelly Perry - 42:40 - Yeah. They still have, right? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. That's the difference. They're not stressed. There's, there's. Yes, yes. There's a, there's an element I just feel of connectedness and I don't even, I don't know that it's something who's. I don't even know that it's something who, a client that maybe isn't with flowers everyday. Like they, they probably wouldn't notice something like that, you know. But for me as a designer, there is something about, it just feels like life to be able to, um, I just have four raised beds here and then I have a front garden and so there are just little bits that can come out, but I do feel like it's just, once the little bit goes in, I sort of have this like exhale of like, oh, okay. It's okay. Yes, yes. It's good. Like we've connected people to the ground into the moment, into the season and I feel like I'm, I'm, yeah, just almost like unleashed or like I am able to think more clearly about the whole thing.
Kelly Perry - 43:48 - Just if one of my little friends in there, just all you need is one, you know, the more I can get the better. But um, I just, I do, I, there was a lady who, she's been growing flowers for 30 years and she teaches one of our online classes, foundations for growing cut flowers. So she's helping people kind of get a jumpstart on how to start there, how to start as a small cutting garden or whatever it is, you know, she's sharing her techniques and things. But she was at one of our workshops is, is how we met Kathleen and she struggled so hard and she couldn't figure out what was wrong and all of a sudden it occurred to her, she's like, these aren't my flowers. She's like, I don't have this problem when I'm at home and I'm arranging. But she's like, I feel like I'm in a room with strangers and I don't know what to do.
Kelly Perry - 44:34 - I thought, you know, it was so sweet, but I could relate to that and I could, I could see what she meant. You know, she had never really been in a room with, you know, we had thousands of flowers, you know, a mixture of important things and in a mixture of, you know, local things, but they weren't her things. And so, um, I do, I think every person who arranges flowers, even if it's so small scale, I know some people are working in tiny apartments in growing fledgling businesses out of tiny, tiny spaces. But even if you just have a pot of Rosemary on the window sill in your kitchen and you can clip one little piece of that just to, you know, carry along with you to put into an arrangement or something. I, I just feel like that everybody should grow something like everybody should be a part of that process and um, you know, timing in life and all those kinds of things that, you know, we have to wait until it's the time and the place and all those kinds things.
Kelly Perry - 45:25 - But seeing the seed, you know, start in, you know, building the confidence that like, oh, okay, I can grow something. You know, because as a designer, you know, you're used to just going to market and getting that finished easy product that it's like, okay, instant beauty. Here it is. I'm going to like, work with it for, you know, an hour or two and make this really fantastic thing happened. But when you think about all of the people, all of the hands, all of the time that went into what that looks like. The, the growers, the people who have managed all of the logistics for it, the people who saved the seeds and sent the seeds and it's just such a big, beautiful team. Flower, right? You know, like it's all the people and that's something that we just so celebrate here. And um, we think it's so important just to give all of the different, all of the different people I'm a voice and to help us be more connected. And too, I don't know, just, I'm not sure what Team Flower will become, you know, we don't know a whole lot except from what's happening from day to day, but it would just be so lovely to me to see all of these people kind of coming together in one room and Oh, you're the one who, you know, you know, like to meet that whole chain of peace I think. I think it'd be really phenomenal in magic. So anyway, I'll work on that guys. When
Ellie Jauncey - 46:49 - you meet another florist or you, you know, you, you could just talk to them forever. So the thought such a connection don't you when you do the same thing and you understand each other's industry and I think that it's so true. Like the thought of meeting. Yeah. Like just having that opportunity to connect with everyone in the chain would be really amazing. That kind of thing is that there's a whole holistic thing. Um, but I think just to go back to the growing thing, like what I mean, what we would say to people as well is from we're from, as to people that had no, no knowledge at all and totally making it up on the spot. The results have been so, so satisfying. And like it, it really, you can do it. Like if people are feeling unconfident, just start with cosmos and sweet peas and you will be, you'll have so many and it's not as, you obviously deadhead and tech and stuff, but it's so fruitful like you don't have to put that much. And like at the beginning, you don't have to put that much energy and if you just want to do a bit and see how it goes and you will get such good results and it's so, so satisfying. And um, yeah, I would just say go for it because it's not as hard as it seems. I think that's the thing
Kelly Perry - 48:14 - in such good advice. Like just choose, you know, just start with the sweet peas, like, you know, I think whenever I, um, whenever I installed these beds and I started kind of getting going, I really over did it, like, yeah, but it's so hard. It's so tempting. Challenge is holding back. Yes. Because restraint is such a hard to do because there's,
Ellie Jauncey - 48:42 - you just, there's so many amazing things that you want to grow, but ultimately you have to be a bit controlled, don't you? Unless you. Yeah. Unless you've got space or whatever. But yeah. It. Yeah. Because it actually, it can be really overwhelming. Yeah.
Kelly Perry - 48:56 - Yes. And you have to get to know the flowers like you, they all, they're, they're like people, they all have different personalities. They all have different needs, things that they emphasize, you know, I, you know, it's just, I don't have to work
Ellie Jauncey - 49:09 - well just one water as well and I think, I think we have been so lucky because the soil is, seems to be really good and like we've got this protected garden and things do seem to grow and I'm, I felt like maybe if we do this again somewhere else we might get a bit of a shock because not everywhere. I think it's as easy as what we've got.
Anna Day - 49:29 - I think so. I think one key thing we would definitely do next time is to find out our soil type. Like we kind of have, like London is basically clay, but um,
Ellie Jauncey - 49:42 - we didn't plan anything
Anna Day - 49:45 - nice time. We started with, we got it already just before, uh, it was November, so we could plant bulbs for our author. First thing we did was bulbs. And that's such a satisfying start because they're stuck there. They go down, they go in and then they come out.
Ellie Jauncey - 50:02 - You don't have to do anything.
Anna Day - 50:03 - And that was really encouraging for our first bit of growing for it to be something that worked really well. And um,
Ellie Jauncey - 50:10 - and especially when you, I mean not to bang on, but you have like, you cannot buy a toilet at our market that looks like the cheese lettuce that we grow. Like they don't exist. You can't, there's no local, there's no like on a, on a big scale. You can't buy British tulips really in, in a kind of, you can buy like, you know, like quite normal British to lips, but you can't buy anything really beautiful. And so when you can grow with that and they smell and they open and they're huge and they're such luxury on there. Like you can see why Tulip mania happen because they're just so explicit. And I think that um, I don't know where I'm going with this, but yeah, just go on for hours. But it's. Yeah. So yeah, maybe actually a bit of advice would be start with simple seeds like cosmos and cps or something. And then do some shoe lifts because they're. So, they're so easy. Yeah, I'm fine. Yeah.
Kelly Perry - 51:09 - Oh guys, it has been, so it's been so delightful to have you here. I always think it's fun to have partners on the program because you just have a special, a special connection and it's really fun to, to have you guys. And so I'm really thankful that you came and that we got to learn a little bit about your book and um, you know, just the process for that and your garden and what you're growing and how special it is to have some of those things in, in our own garden. And I'm just, thank you so much for being with us
Ellie Jauncey - 51:42 - scans. We really, really, we were really excited when you got in touch. It's really nice to be asked.
Kelly Perry - 51:56 - uh, yes, absolutely. Well, we're going to put a link on the blog, everyone to, um, The Flower Appreciation Society books so that you can find that in. Add it to your flower library. So you'll want to hop over to the blog for that. And then we're also gonna just put a couple of pictures, um, so that you can kind of get a sense of visually, I feel like the podcast with flowers is hard because we're like, oh, all of these deeply beautiful things, but you know, we can't show them whenever, you know, we're listening. So anyway, the blog is the component for that. You can pop over there and see some pictures there and just a little summary of what we, what we talked about here today. Um, if you love this conversation, share it with friends. Um, you know, do a little review on itunes.
Kelly Perry - 52:37 - That's something that helps us pop up higher in search engine so people can find us and more people can, you know, be a part of this conversation and we really appreciate it whenever you just take a couple of minutes to do that. So anyway, all of you who are listening and Anna and let your work with flowers matters and we're so happy to be a part of your support system and to encourage you as you're going along. Um, you've always got a friend in the US and we look forward to hopefully meeting all of our, you know, listeners and in an lab so fun to have you at a Team Flower conference some day where you know, we can just bridge those gaps and make the world a little bit smaller. So anyway, have a great day everyone. Thanks so much for listening and we will see you soon. This podcast is brought to you by Team Flower, flowers and online
Kelly Perry - 53:26 - learning community in a big group of florists that are focused on loving the world through flowers. Whether you're a professional farmer, florists getting started or just love flowers. The welcome to the party. If you'd like to know when new podcast episodes are released and received from video tutorials and articles, sign up for a pen pal club. It's free. Visit teamflower.org, and click on resources.